Briatore buoyant over Renault form

Renault team boss Flavio Briatore was upbeat about his team's form at the Chinese Grand Prix despite leaving Shanghai with no points

Briatore buoyant over Renault form

The French squad introduced a new floor for Fernando Alonso's car on Saturday, following the FIA's verdict over the design of the double-decker diffuser.

The modified car helped Alonso secure second place on the grid, but a disastrous race ended up with Alonso outside of the points. The race was dominated by the Renault-powered Red Bull cars of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

Briatore reckons Alonso was very unlucky with the timing of the safety car, but the Italian is adamant Renault was the best team behind Red Bull and Brawn GP.

"Double victory in the two wrong cars," joked Briatore about the Red Bull one-two. "No, I'm happy for Red Bull and I'm happy for the engine, but we were very unlucky with Renault. Because Fernando was really, really unlucky. The safety car destroyed our race. Maybe we called him a little bit too early. It was unlucky.

"And after that he spun. If everything had been perfect he would have finished fifth, after the two Red Bulls and the two Brawns. But our car is much better. I want to see our car with normal weather. The car is much more competitive. Fernando was second on Saturday and we saw we had the same level of fuel as Button.

"And today, our performance... Behind the two Red Bulls and the two Brawns, it was us. We were quicker than McLaren, than Ferrari and BMW. I'm not jumping ahead because it's not the moment, but the car is better and it's only a question of going to Bahrain and hope the weather is not like in the last two races."

Briatore said Renault has significant updates for the Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix, and he is looking forward to seeing the car perform in a dry race.

"Absolutely congratulations to Red Bull," he added. "They have a fantastic car with the normal rules. And what we are doing now is improving the car for Bahrain. We have a big step for Fernando and for Piquet in Monte Carlo and for Barcelona, and we are working flat-out.

"Now we know the direction and I'm happy about the performance of the car, because all weekend, especially Fernando, was always there. I'm happy and let's see what happens in Bahrain. I want to see a normal race."

The Renault boss was also critical on Alonso's team-mate Nelson Piquet after the Brazilian spun several times during the race.

"Jesus Christ, it was a very, very bad race," said Briatore. "I understand if you spin once, but this was kind of a contest: the more you spin the more points you have. He spun a lot but no points.

"He needs a normal race. A lot of people spun, not just Nelsinho. People with more experience, from Kubica to Heidfeld, everybody spun. Alonso spun as well. This is just the beginning of the season. At least we have a really good car now "

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